BY: VITALIS UGOH, Calabar
Attempt by the Cross River St ate governor, Senator Ben Ayade to get approval from the State House of Assembly seeking for a N20 billion loan has suffered a major set back as it was referred to the House Committee on Finance and Appropriation for in-depth verification.
Ayade had requested for approval to obtain credit facilities of Ten Billion Naira each from First Bank and Zenith Bank.
In a two separate letters from the Secretary to the State government Barrister Tina Agbor on Wednesday, February 12, 2020 during plenary, the House exhaustively deliberated on the issue and directed the Committee to take thorough scrutiny of the whole matter.
According to the letters, “the State Executive Council at its 3rd meeting of Friday 24th January 2020 resolved to get loan facilities of Ten Billion Naira from Zenith Bank PLC for developmental projects and another Ten billion Naira from First Bank PLC for execution of capital projects. Both facilities are offered for 48 Months at an interest rate of 15% per annum”.
In their contributions, members commended the governor’s industrialization drive but however observed that there was need for the House to be furnished with more details including, the type of projects being considered, their cost, location as well as the total facilities already accepted by the State government.
The House therefore mandated the Finance and Appropriation Committee to interface with relevant stakeholders including the proposed financial institutions to enable it make an informed decision.
It would be recalled that the House had earlier referred the State governor’s request for its approval to withdraw one billion, five hundred million Naira from the State’s Reserve Fund as well as a facility of fifteen Billion Naira from United Bank for Africa PLC to its Finance and Appropriation Committee.
The House of Assembly had earlier last year approved the state government request for a loan OT five billion Naira from First Bank of Nigeria.
Sources close to governor’s office said that the state is still battling monthly to defray the loan.